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‘Sammy D from Tennessee’ — Saturday, Aug. 22

Elation Center for the Arts presents, “Sammy D from Tennessee,” a concert of original, acoustic folk rock and roots music, 7 p.m. Sat., August 22, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

A professional musician, with an accessible personality, Sammy D has performed his special blend of folk, folk rock and ballads, for many years, in his home state of Tennessee. There’s a warm feeling surrounding Sammy D, a feeling that’s instantly contagious through his music. It’s no accident that one of Sammy D’s favorite kinds of songs to write, is love songs. He’s also into humor and balladry.

A recording artist with several CDs to his credit, Sammy D has been writing songs since he was a teenager. When he was first getting his music gig off the ground, he was given an assist from the folks at Graceland (the organization in Memphis, responsible for preserving the legacy of Elvis Presley, and where Sammy D once worked as a manager). Graceland loaned him a sound and lighting system for his early forays into the music business.

Sammy D has been a staple on the Nashville and Memphis music scene since the early 1980s. Raised on a small farm near Nashville, Tennessee, he grew up in the ’50s, in a thriving center of American folk/pop music. One of his first memories, at the tender age of 3, was the experience of first hearing Elvis Presley singing “You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog” on the radio. After that watershed experience, there was no holding back; Sammy D knew he was made for music.

Being immersed in a home and community environment full of folk music — with vast local television programming, with prominent folk and gospel musicians — had a defining effect on what would become Sammy D’s personal mission, to become a professional musician.

“My folks listened to the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night,” he said, “so I was exposed to that type of music for as far back as I can remember.” His family frequently attended music and dance events — for clogging and square dancing — where plenty of talented bluegrass and country musicians were featured.

This Saturday’s concert will be Sammy D’s first concert appearance in the Southwest. Having just built himself a cabin in our neck of the woods, Sammy D is now a dual citizen. His plan is to spend part of the year in Pagosa and part in Tennessee.

ECA is proud to present the “official” Pagosa welcome to Sammy D. Join us in extending our Pagosa hospitality and appreciation to a fine new musician in our midst. Come hear and meet Sammy D from Tennessee.

Advance tickets to “Sammy D from Tennessee,” are $12, available online at http://elationarts.org and at the Higher Grounds Coffee Company. Tickets at the door are $15. Young people 18 and under are admitted free of charge.

Please help us continue the tradition of our concert intermission/social by bringing a dessert to share. ECA is also putting out the call for volunteers to help with concert setup and cleanup.

Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard; turn north on Vista, then left on Port. The clubhouse is at the end of Port in the PLPOA complex.

For more information, call 731-3117 and visit http://elationarts.org.